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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  September 26, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT

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>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> haunting stories emerge from syria. a special report on the widespread use of sexual violence, including rape. running battles in athens as police confront protesters angry at the new round of severe government cutbacks. author j.k. rowling reveals her new book and her regrets about writing to of her most famous novel so quickly. >> there were times when it was really tough, and i read them and i think, maybe i will go back and do it over.
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>> welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. two massive bomb blast have shaken the syrian capital today setting the military headquarters of light. bombs and bullets are not the only weapons in this war. we heard firsthand evidence of rape being used to emulate and a great victims -- used to humiliate victims. graphic attacks are taking place. >> is just one of the many roads along which they fully. these are among the quarter of a million refugees of syria's war. they bring with them a handful of belongings and stories of
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crimes that haunt the survivors. this woman said she was arrested at a checkpoint and later repeatedly raped, along with three other women. >> a daily rape took place in front of the other girls. that was the time that would remove the blindfolds so that the girls could see what was happening before their eyes and would not know when their turn would come, whether tomorrow, after one hour. they did not know. it was done in rotation. >> the witness says the rakes happened in the notorious palestine branch in a building later bombed by rebels. she said an interrogator use rats and mice in his violent assaults on her and other women. >> she was screaming. afterwards, we saw blood on the floor. he told merkel, -- he told her,
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is this good enough for you? they were marking her. it was obvious that she was in agony. you could see her. after that, she no longer moved. but the witness says that after two months in the nightmare world of the tension, she was helped to escape and lease area. the group human rights watch says sexual violence is used to humiliate and the grade. neither they nor the u.s. have so far made allegations of rape against the rebel side. we have talked with victims of rape and the people who have given the medical help. what is clear is that sexual violence is taking place across syria and is being directed at women and men. >> they hit you. >> these young men were arrested in damascus after taking part in demonstrations against the
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regime. this.aid please don't do please don't do this. nobody listened to me. you want to have freedom? this this for freedom. and then the officer and the security, they are just laughing. i was alone. >> would follow this allegation of abuse across the region, here to easton told. -- here to istanbul. the young man recently defected to the opposition. he said there was rape and other centers. let me quote to you what a former detainee at your facility said. they work raping me. they were like animals.
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that is from a detainee at the center you ran. >> that is not true when it comes to the time that i was there. that is absolutely untrue. and if it were true, they could confront me, because i am responsible before any authority, whether national or international. >> the international community gives aid to refugees but is simply too divided over syria to order zero war crimes investigation. we ask the syrian government to respond to the allegation, but received no answer. recently dismissed un reports of torture, including sexual violence as neither accurate nor objective. in essence of other witnesses and with un investigators refused access to syria, it is
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impossible to cooperate rape allegations, but some survivors are determined. >> nobody visits you. nobody here is your voice. it seems this is our destiny to be tortured today and then die. >> in this society, there is a huge degree of shame around speaking about a subject like this. why have you decided to speak to me? >> i am still afraid for the girls who remain inside. every few days, they would bring in new girl. i have now been out for six or seven months. how many girls have they brought in during this time? >> that as the war escalates is the most haunting of questions.
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>> of the trauma of the syrian direct victims. for those inside the country, it seems the situation gets worse every day. syrian state television has broadcast what it says are secret tv pictures of one of two suicide car bomb outside the heavily guarded building. it was engulfed in flames. gunfire followed the explosions and security forces battle with rebel fighters who then tried to storm the building. the new egyptian president made his debut, saying he will not rest until the civil war in syria and. he told the general assembly it continues to be imposed -- opposed to foreign intervention. >> to pursuing a sincere effort and has been making to put an end to the tragedy in syria within an arab, regional, an
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international framework. a framework that preserve the unity of this brotherly state. it would involve all sections of the syrian people, without discrimination based on race, religion, or politics. it would spare assyria the danger of foreign military intervention, which we oppose, of course. >> president morsi geoghegan impassioned speech about the fruits of freedom and dignity. he said the u.s. has to address the phenomena of islamic phobia. michael, thanks for being with us. what did you make of his decision to put the palestinian question brought and center in
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his speech? >> i think it would have been surprising if he did not begin with the question of palestine. this has been traditionally not only in egypt but in the arab world the preeminent foreign policy issue of the region. now that the muslim brotherhood and its president is in power, i think it would have been surprising if they did not showcase this issue, because obviously it has formed a big part of their foreign policy thinking for years. >> egypt received $1.6 billion in aid a year from the u.s. if egypt has a where your relation with the u.s., will that a continue? >> it is an interesting moment when egypt is partially reconstructing it shrek -- its relation with the united states. the military relationship continues, and that has gone on for many years. yet now there is an elected civilian president that is
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trying to assert the degree of independence at a moment when both sides are now trying to understand the priorities of each other, and the united states is adjusting to an egyptian leader that has to respond to some degree to the wants and desires of his own people. it is a much more high maintenance type of relationship because nothing can be taken for granted in the same way that it was when egypt was essentially a client state. >> president morsi called syria the tragedy of the age. any new ideas there about how to stop the fighting? >> not so much. this is indicative of egypt's position at the moment. more aspirational and ambitious with respect to charting a more independent course, but of course egypt is consumed by domestic affairs, particularly on the economic front.
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so egypt is not in a position to really exert great influence on the syrian civil war. it is not a proxy player in the sense of supporting any of the sides there, yet it does not have the wherewithal to be a useful facilitator with the iranians in terms of trying to bring about some sort of political settlement or a political framework for dealing with this issue. rhetorically it is a shift, but i don't think egypt is in a position to be a major player with respect to syrian policy. >> how do you think the call for -- how will it go down with the u.s. administration? >> this is a case of people having to reject of him having to address his domestic audience. the u.s. constitution, the u.s. government is not responsible for the actions of individual
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citizens. president has made it quite clear that while the speech itself is offensive and the president has condemned the content of the speech, this exists within our democratic system here in the united states. president morsi needs to make these comments to assuage the feelings of some citizens back in egypt, but i don't think this will have any material impact on u.s.-egyptian relations. >> the pakistani taliban says they are grant amnesty to a cabinet minister who is offering a $100,000 reward who kills the maker of the anti-islamic film that sparked violent protests across the muslim world. the taliban are reported to have taken the minister of their hit list, saying his views represent the true spirit of islam.
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up the accord for -- would cover security but is not a comprehensive deal as had been hoped. on the streets of greece, there have been violent clashes between police and demonstrators during a day of strikes. the action was called to protect against massive new cuts in government spending. this report from athens. >> it seems today that this city has come to know all too well, petrol bombs, tear gas, protesters fighting on the streets. this time, the police soon regained control. the kind of violence, the peaceful protest of the majority, marching against more cuts to come. >> we are desperate people. >> the ax will fall on pensions and education and retirement age is set to rise for greece to receive its lifeline.
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>> it has been over two years since greece requested outside help and things are getting worse. they believe the entire strategy is wrong. imagine what might happen when they come into effect. >> one of those taking part is determined to help those suffering. in his spare time, he runs a clinic offering free care to the new poor of greece. everything here is donated. this is the other side of the crisis, solidarity between greeks hit by austerity. >> it is amazing to see greece in the 21st century having children that are starving. some cannot feed their children are provide simple things like an aspirin. >> at per se, 10 patients a week
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-- at first, 10 patients came here. now there are a hundred per day. they cannot afford a basic check up for their newborn. we cannot sink any deeper, or else the greek people would die. it is like this country is at war. greece shut down today, but the government is standing firm that without 11.5 billion bureaus of cuts, the country would forbid its long and face bankruptcy. -- would forfeit its loan and face bankruptcy. >> after all, if greece lisa eurozone, i think that will probably mean the end of the eurozone itself. >> beneath the protest, it is easy to forget the human stories of a once confident nation now caught between rage and despair. >> still to come on tonight's
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program, new babies, young mothers. some are being forcefully torn apart in nigeria. the people of new zealand know only too well about the dangers of earthquakes and the importance of being prepared in an emergency. a large aftershock in christchurch last year killed nearly 200 people. that is why more than a million took part today in what is believed to be the world's first ever nationwide earthquake drill. sirens were sounded alerting people to take cover. our correspondent in the region said this report. >> 9:26, the world's first countrywide earthquake drill began. this is wellington in new zealand where benches a low
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level walls were used for cover. more than a million people took part, around a third of the total population. >> we want to make sure we keep driving home the drill to do in an emergency. we will follow-up with encouraging businesses and homes to be sure they are prepared at home and at work. >> the exercise was devised following last year's christchurch earthquake that killed 185 people and destroyed dozens of buildings. a report will be produced in november. it zealand television has been running advertisements to alert people to the exercise, telling them how to respond. just before the exercise, a real earthquake struck the north
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island, but it was small and did no damage. a reminder to the people of this delicate nation. >> adoption rules vary from country to country, but one thing seems to be the norm around the world. the process is neither quick nor easy. people desperate to adopt are sometimes willing to pay for a baby, but that yield underground networks that prey on the poor and vulnerable. our correspondent has been looking into allegations that some nigerian teenagers are being forced to give up their babies. >> motherly love for a newborn son. this 16-year-old came desperate close to losing her child, daniel. it was a traumatic fight to prevent her from being taken away at birth for adoption. she did not tell her parents
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about her pregnancy. she added to this city, confused, scared, and with no money. she was vulnerable. a refuge for pregnant girls took her in for free. she says it was on the understanding that she would hand over her baby. >> i had nowhere to go. i had to agree that i would give them the baby afterward. >> after her son was born, she wanted to keep him. she told me a worker from the refuge, threaten her with jail if she did not give up her baby. >> she said they would arrest me and jail me. >> her tears are aroused the suspicion of doctors and nurses. hospital officials did not want to comment on this case, but one doctor said that babies are being removed from the hospital even before their babies or
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discharge. he did agree to speak. he tell me how worried she was when he saw her on the ward. >> she was scared of what would happen to per baby and to her. >> i am on my way to meet the people who run a home where she stayed for many months. i will be putting it to them, are they really run this institution in the best interest of all these vulnerable teenagers? >> set up by the wife of the state governor, they have taken in 100 girls. most have chosen not to keep their babies. it denies this treating many of the girls and said they always have a choice. >> we do counseling. we ask if they still stand by their decision or to go with their baby.
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>> she is just glad she managed to keep her baby and has been reunited with her now proud grandmother. >> the pain of nigeria's teenage mothers. she is one of the world's most famous children's writers. j.k. rowling has left the magic and the wizardry of harry potter behind to write a novel for adults. has already created a stir because of its extensive use of language that is definitely not suitable for children. she speaks to our editor about what inspired her to write for an older audience. >> j.k. rowling is perhaps the most famous living writer in the world. she is certainly one of the richest. having sold over four hundred 50 million copies of her harry potter books worldwide, now she is opening a new chapter in her literary life with her first novel and that an adult audience. why the change? >> i did not sit down to write
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this novel. i had nothing to prove. i do not mean that in an arrogant way. i certainly don't mean i think i cannot improve as a writer, but harry potter truly liberated me in the sense that there is only one reason to right now, for me. >> the story is set in a small english town, a community riven with hate and prejudice. >> to have any experience is that you project on to your characters, trying to numb the pain? >> i would not want to go there too much, but i have had my issues. i certainly have mental health issues. i have been depressed. my teenage years, i had issues
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with anxiety. >> you gave a very moving account of what happened to you. do you think it will change anything? >> i passionately believe in freedom of the press, but having been on the receiving end of some dubious legal behavior, how do we knock this out? i don't know. i hope and pray it does change things because i think it is toxic. >> as a writer, you have created a portfolio of characters which connect with millions, maybe even billions, of people. >> it was murder saying goodbye. if i had a fabulous idea that
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came out of that world, i would do it. a sidestep, we will see. >> j.k. rowling's latest venture. president ronald reagan once called him a national treasure. singer andy williams was one of the most enduring stars of the 1960's and 1970's. he has died at age 84. ♪ moon river >> he was best known for moon river, the oscar-winning song which featured -- which was featured in the film "breakfast at tiffany's." he died at home in missouri, a year after being diagnosed with
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cancer. you can find constant updates on our website. from all of us here at world news america, thank you for watching. see you tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at >> funding for this presentation was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions.
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we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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hi, neighbour! you're invited to a tea party at katerina kittycat's house! then we're going to play with o the owl. he has lots of books. this is going to be tiger-tastic. be right back! is made possible in part by... the richard king mellon foundation. dedicated for over sixty years to south western pennsylvania's quality of life, and competitive future. and by these pittsburg foundations. working together to enhance and enrich the lives of children for more than seventy-five years. and by the arthur vining davis foundations. dedicated to strengthening america's future through education. adcasting, dedicated to strengthening america's future and contributions to your pbs station, from viewers like you. in the neighbourhood ♪ and contributions to your pbs station,
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♪ a beautiful day for a neighbour ♪ ♪ would you be mine? ♪ could you be mine? ♪ won't you be my neighbour? - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ a land of make-believe ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ so much to do, so much to see ♪ ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ i've got lots of friends for you to meet ♪ ♪ in this land of make-believe ♪ a friendly face on every street ♪ just waiting to greet you ♪ it's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood ♪ ♪ a beautiful day for a neighbour ♪ ♪ in daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ (trolley dings.) - hi, neighbour! we're playing at katerina kittycat's house today. - hello, daniel tiger, meow, meow. hi, neighbour.


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